News Roundup: Border Mayors Meet With Homeland Security Chief

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartJuly 12, 2019 1:03 pm

The acting sectretary of the Department of Homeland Security was in El Paso Thursday.

As Mallory Falk reports, the visit comes amid accounts of overcrowded conditions at detention facilities.

Kevin McAleenan held a roundtable with mayors from several cities along the southwest border, including Las Cruces, New Mexico and Yuma, Arizona. They asked questions and shared concerns about how immigration policies are affecting their communities.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo spoke at a press conference after the meeting. He has concerns about Customs and Border Protection officers being reassigned to other parts of the border, adding that’s led to long wait times on international bridges, in turn slowing down commerce.

“One of the things I want to get in there that I asked specifically about for us in El Paso is to please staff the bridges fully,” Margo says.

McAleenan also toured several Border Patrol stations, including a facility in Clint that recently came under fire, after reports of unsafe conditions for migrant children.

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Barry is expected to become a hurricane before hitting the central Louisiana coast this weekend.

But Jeff Evans with the National Weather Service in Houston says Texas isn’t totally in the clear just yet.

“There’s still a little bit of uncertainty with how it’s gonna organize,” Evans says. “There’s also a few models that continue to hold a little more of a western track, or northwestern track I should say, even though those are the outliers, and most of the model consensus is this is gonna be a Louisiana storm.”

Evans says Texans should pay attention to Barry – because if it does shift west, it could happen late Friday evening, just before making landfall.

Business groups in San Antonio are mounting a legal challenge to halt an upcoming deadline for the city’s new paid sick leave ordinance.

Attorneys for several staffing agencies and business associations sent a letter Thursday to San Antonio city attorney Andrew Segovia seeking a meeting with city officials. That letter lists ten plaintiffs.

The ordinance requires employers to provide one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours than an employee works.

That ordinance went into effect in January, but businesses with six or more employees have until August 1 to comply.

A spokeswoman with the city attorney’s office said that Segovia has agreed to a meeting but no date has been set.